I have such a sweet tooth! And even though I am trying my best to follow a healthier eating plan, there is nothing I appreciate more than a small treat with my evening cup of tea. And I couldn’t think of anything more perfect than a piece of fudge from Quinnies.
Quinnies fudge reminds me of the fudge that my granny used to have in her cookie jar in her kitchen. It is smooth, not too sweet and you can taste that it has been made with love. I mean, could you ask for much more?
My husband doesn’t usually enjoy sweet things, so when Quinnies sent me a large jar of their vanilla fudge, I was looking forward to enjoying the whole jar on my own. Pffft – one nibble at a corner of one of my chunk of fudge and suddenly Warren decided that he needed his own piece as well. So I would recommend hiding these away from your significant other, and children, or just buying enough jars for everyone and ensuring that yours is hidden in a secret spot where others can’t sneak their dirty mitts and share yours without your knowledge.
Charlene (the owner of Quinnies) also sent me fudge in the shape of a dog and cat as she knows how important my animals are to me and I just LOVE the fact that her clients are more than simply numbers, and you become part of the family from the moment you contact her.
Your name: Charlene McQuinn
Business name: Quinnies
3 fun facts about you: I’ve run 5 world marathons, I embarrass myself REGULARLY, I make really good fudge.
Can you tell me more about your business:
It wasn’t planned. Quinnies happened by pure accident. I was taking time off work and planning to return to corporate when a batch of fudge was made for the kids. A few pieces were given to some Moms at the school and a jar was put together as a gift. That jar was “stolen” by my husband and taken to work. He returned with a few orders which I started making that weekend. When those orders went out more orders came back and before we knew it we had moms and colleagues as regular customers. We then realised we had to cost the jars and when the orders continued to flow we realised we had to come up with a name for the fudge. It all happened so quickly. Word spread and before we knew it we started stocking corporate coffee shops, hotels and airport lounges. Quinnies had to grow as well and we got to welcome some amazing ladies to the team. Our household kitchen could no longer cater for the demand and we built a little dedicated Quinnies kitchen.
Covid hit and boy did things change. Our biggest channels were impacted the most so we had to get innovative. We reached out to lots of deli’s and upgraded our online platforms. We haven’t fully recovered as yet but we’re heading there. People have been amazing and the support has been incredible. Our channels have changed quite a bit and South Africans are wanting to support local, quality products, which is really great.
Why is fudge so special to you:
Its provided a platform to create employment. When we went into this there was a 29% unemployment rate and I did a happy dance every time we got to employ a permanent staff member. The realisation that Quinnies could help provide employment became one of the major objectives. Now the situation is dire as we head to a 50% unemployment rate. We need to support local businesses now more than ever to try and fix this.
What makes your fudge so unique:
We don’t compromise on our ingredients and use real butter and full cream milk. It’s all homemade – our batches are small, they take time and lots and lots of stirring.
Which is your favourite flavour:
I always resort back to the Traditional Vanilla Flavour – probably because it makes me nostalgic. It tastes like our Mom’s and Grannies used to make it.
If I had to go for one of the different flavours it would definitely be Chilli Fudge. It such a great combination of flavours and after your first bite it starts to warm the back of your throat.
How can people order from you:
The best way is online through our website.
Can people order fudge from you in bulk for gifts/celebrations:
Absolutely! Because everything is made by hand, the bigger the order, the more people are needed to make the order – but we definitely cut back as much as possible to make those special moments more special.
Quote you live by:
The more you love your own decisions, the less you need others to love them.
Anything else you want to add:
My Family have been amazing in all of this. They are so supportive. My husband helps out so much with all the areas that I don’t enjoy…like the finance! The kids have helped me pack thousands of little squares in rushed fashion before the courier was about to arrive for a collection. It can be quite lonely running a small business and it helps to have a team of supporters. I’m so grateful to them.
I love that this is a small business, run by family and each piece is packaged with love. I love the passion behind this business, and the fact that Charlene is actively making a difference in her community – and beyond.
Charlene, thank you for spreading love and joy through Quinnies, and for introducing me to my new favourite treat! I feel like this is a must-have for every household and you will be seeing my name on many future orders too.
Guys, please remember to support these small businesses. They are people that are making an active difference in their lives, and in the lives of each employee. Why not place an order for your next event, or as teacher’s gifts, or even as a “just because”? And you can thank me later once you have tasted this and realise you just can’t live without the fudge.